I actually preferred it to doing standup because as I got older I really wanted to express opinions; I wanted to be taken seriously, Goddamnit!
Well, not all the time, of course. I still wanted to amuse people occasionally. But I didn't want to be restricted by the relentless requirement that I get a laugh every ten seconds or so for twenty minutes or more. Also, blogging was a lot less nerve-racking than performing live. In any case I figured I could amass heaps of material in written posts that I could eventually put into stand up routines if and when I got back into it.
Aside from a couple of one-offs in the mid noughties I did zero live comedy. As a result of blogging in about 2010 I got into Twitter. I loved using it because it was so focused. It's just fantastic for following a specific interest and connecting with people who share it.
Still maintaining a keen interest in comedy, with a long term view to performing again, I built this site and started a Twitter account for it. What I discovered was that the social network was just teeming with comedians.
Sure, no matter what your interest or profession is, you'll find countless tweeps who are into it. But it does seem that comics are over-represented as profession.
Performing for laughs is a rare thing to do, after all. It's certainly more unusual than being being a dentist. The world is full of decaying teeth, so there'll always be plenty of dentists to fulfil that need. But how many of them are there on Twitter? Quite a few without a doubt but I'm willing to bet there are more comics -- or at least proportionally more.
Clearly there are aspects of Twitter that make it very attractive to people who get paid to make people laugh, or aspire to.
The length of tweets is a big factor. Some people find this frustratingly short. But those 140 characters are perfect for one liners. And you can judge which of those you've sent are deemed funniest by your followers by counting the number of LOLs and LMAOs in mentions as well as retweets and favorites. You can also do this by posting videos of your routines.
Speaking of videos, YouTube is also chockas with funny buggers. In fact I think a lot of them just perform for the camera as opposed to live audiences, and build substantial followings that way.
Actually, it's like a whole new medium for comedic performance. I doubt it will ever usurp the traditional one, however. Standing before scores of people in a venue and making them laugh out loud is a huge thrill, and hard to beat. It's also more fun for the audience. Laughing is pleasurable of course, but there's also the sense of togetherness that live comedy fans experience.
The sense of belonging you get from social media can be substantial, however. Not only do users seek that with others who share their interests and passions, they also like to be amongst people who are similar demographically. That's one of the reasons comedians -- who tend to be youngish inner city types -- are also heavily into Tumblr.
Still, it seems that Twitter is the preferred option for comics. As well as the benefits mentioned above, it's also a hub for booking agents and venue owners. And they're so easy to find. If you build a decent following and some buzz on the site, you can get noticed by these gatekeepers and score live gigs, thereby lifting your profile on the circuit more quickly than you would have otherwise.